Personal trainer: Make holiday resolution

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jarrod Grammel
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
A certified personal trainer here said he knows all too well about the well-intentioned New Year's resolutions to get in better shape that fill the gym every January. He said he has also seen the same trend every year when in February or March the gym empties to its pre-resolution regulars.

Chris Andruschkevich, an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified personal trainer, said he thinks he's figured out why so many people fail to make the lifestyle changes they promise themselves every new year. His two pieces of advice? Discipline and a head start.

The first thing he said to do is don't wait until Jan. 1, and establish the habit of working out now.

"It takes between 21 to 25 days to establish a habit," said Andruschkevich, who has 20 years of experience as a personal trainer. "If someone took the time prior to the new year to establish that habit, it will help them stave off the holiday weight gain. So rather than making a New Year's resolution, make a holiday resolution ... set yourself up for a greater chance of success come the new year.

"So say you start exercising, eating right, and you do have a little too much fun, eat a little too much. It's OK," he added. "You fell off the wagon. Get back on. It's not the end of the world."

By starting early and establishing the habit ahead of time, Andruschkevich said it will make sticking to resolutions much easier.

His next piece of advice is to have discipline and treat working out the same as going to work and taking care of family. To really be successful, people need to rely more on discipline and less on motivation, he says.

"Forget about motivation," said Andruschkevich. "Motivation is great. Don't get me wrong, it's great to be motivated. But when motivation fails, what's your back-up plan?

"Everyone talks about motivation," he added. "Well, motivation fluctuates. However, discipline works nine times out of 10. You get up in the morning and you go to work. You're disciplined. You have that habit already. Discipline works. Everyone wants motivation. Well, you might be waiting for a long time."

Andruschkevich continued, pointing out how starting early and establishing that habit ties back into having discipline.

"People will say, 'Well, my motivation is that I'm going to make a New Year's resolution,'" said the trainer. "You're setting yourself up for failure. Habits, on the other hand, are hard to break. So forget about motivation and be disciplined for one hour out of the day."

To find that one hour out of the day, Andruschkevich suggests eliminating a typically nonproductive activity, like watching TV or playing video games, for a workout. He said even if you're exhausted or worked a 12-hour shift, be disciplined.

As far as actually getting started on fitness, the trainer said to just get the body moving, and get educated about fitness.

"Fitness is simple," said Andruschkevich. "People try so hard to complicate it. People hear about all these different workouts, and people who aren't immersed in it already get discouraged. They don't know that getting started is just coming through the front door."

Andruschkevich added that if somebody wants to get a trainer, make sure to get a good one, who teaches clients and goes through how to do each exercise and why it's effective.

"Learn," he said. "You become much more comfortable about things if you know about them. Many people fear the unknown. That's one of our greatest fears: the unknown. And we fear change. So if you know more about it, you'll be much more comfortable with it. So learn and be educated."

As obesity and heart disease continue to be the leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Andruschkevich pointed out that "most people don't approach fitness with the same vigor, intensity and discipline they do with anything else in their lives."

So this Holiday season and new year, he's urging everyone to take their resolutions seriously and have discipline, and asked, "If you didn't wake up and go to work in the morning, what would the consequences be?"